The Flemish part of Belgium (Flanders) has already in place a take-back obligation for photovoltaic (PV) modules since 1 January 2013. During 2013, the Flemish Public Waste Agency started negotiations with the representatives of the Belgian photovoltaic industry in order to conclude an Environmental Agreement (‘Milieubeleidsovereenkomst’) for discarded photovoltaic panels. This Agreement is executed by the Government with the industry, and contains the detailed description of the execution of the extended producer responsibility within the context of WEEE. The generic and formal transposition of WEEE into Flemish waste law (‘Vlarema’) is pending and the public consultation round started in summer 2013.
While the legal starting date for the collection and recycling of photovoltaic modules in the Flemish region was 1 January 2013, the operational starting date is somewhere in 2014, when the Environmental Agreement should – in principle – have been adopted by all three regions of Belgium, Wallonia, Brussels and Flanders.
Wallonia as well as the Brussels region participate in the negotiations on the Environmental Agreement in Flanders. Only when all three Belgium regions will have adopted the same legal text, the photovoltaic industry will be able to execute the Environmental Agreement.